Bereavement Leave - WiseHead


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Bereavement Leave Helps Many People Move on From Sad Situations.

Losing a loved one is a challenging situation to go through. It is crucial to allow yourself sufficient time to grieve, which means having a break from work. However, do you know how much time you can take and will you still get paid? Read on to discover the essentials of bereavement leave.

What is Bereavement Leave?

Bereavement leave, also called compassionate leave, is a period off work agreed upon with your employer. It is generally taken following the death of a spouse or close family member.

This break from work gives you time to arrange the funeral, organise the deceased's possessions, and pay your respects. Another vital role of bereavement leave is to allow you to start grieving.

Is Bereavement Leave Mandatory?

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Entitlement to bereavement leave depends upon where you live. For instance, the 1996 Employment Rights Act means all employers in the United Kingdom have to give their workers a "reasonable" amount of time off following the death of a spouse, dependent, or close family member.

You might think this is a fair and compassionate situation. However, in the United States, there is currently no law obligating employers to provide such leave.

Of course, any reasonable employer is unlikely to deny you some time off during your grieving period. You should check with your employer whether you are entitled to time off from work on compassionate grounds.

How Long Should Bereavement Leave Last?

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As we mentioned above, you might be able to get bereavement leave for a reasonable period, but what does this mean? Ultimately, the amount of time off comes at your employer's discretion.

Generally, employers agree to around two to five days of additional leave. Of course, everyone grieves differently and for varying lengths of time. If you require more than what is agreed with your employer, you might have to take it as sick leave.

Will You Get Paid During Bereavement Leave?

Even in the United Kingdom, where bereavement leave is mandatory, whether you get paid is at your employer's discretion. Details about how much you'll get paid and for how long should be included in your employment contract.

Final Thoughts

Every bereavement situation is different, and, as such, the amount of time off from work you need will differ from the next person. The critical thing to understand is that you should feel free from pressure to return to work prematurely.

If you are unhappy with the amount of bereavement leave you have been granted, you should discuss it with your employer. Most will be understanding and show empathy for your situation. After all, they've invested in you and will want you to get through the grieving process as smoothly as possible.

If you are unhappy with what you've received, consider talking to your employer to explain your situation better. Alternatively, you can discuss your options with the HR department.

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